The Greater Boston housing market is cooling off. In response to higher mortgage financing costs, increased consumer anxiety over inflation and the possibility of a recession, and declines in savings and household wealth over the past year, the housing market in the Boston area continued to cool last month.
The Boston housing market is still seeing some appreciation, particularly for single-family homes in places with low availability, but in much of the market, home values have been stagnant or have already peaked in recent months. Today, with fewer buyers in the market, higher interest rates, and few competitive offers, there is minimal upward pressure on prices.
According to a new report from the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS®, sales of single-family houses and condominiums both declined on an annual and monthly basis in October, while median selling prices decreased for the fourth consecutive month. In the single-family home market sales fell for a fifth consecutive month on an annual basis, declining 16.3 percent from 1,058 homes sold last October to 886 homes in October 2022.
Condominium sales slowed even further, falling 22.9 percent year on year from a near-record high of 963 condos sold in October 2021 to 742 this October. This marks the eleventh consecutive month condo sales have decreased on a year-over-year basis. The market has started to normalize and buyers now have room for negotiation and are proceeding much more cautiously.
The monthly median selling prices for both single-family homes and condominiums still reached new record highs for October. The median selling price of a single-family home has risen 6.7 percent in the last year, from $700,000 in October 2021 to a new monthly high of $747,000 this October. Meanwhile, the median price of a condominium increased by 0.8 percent from $609,900 in October to a new high for the month of $615,000 in October 2022.
According to the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS®, the single-family median home selling price has declined 17 percent from June when it hit a monthly record high of $899,950, while the median selling price for condominiums has fallen 14 percent from an all-time high of $715,000 in April 2022.
<<<Also Read: Massachusetts Housing Market Forecast 2023>>>
Suffolk County, MA Housing Market Trends
Suffolk County is a county in Massachusetts and consists of 22 cities. The county seat is Boston, the state capital and the largest city in Massachusetts. The following housing market trends are based on single-family, condo, and townhome properties listed for sale on realtor.com. Land, multi-unit, and other property types are excluded. This data is provided as an informational resource only.
In October 2022, the median list price of homes in Suffolk County, Massachusetts was $750K, trending up 5.6% year-over-year. The median listing price per square foot was $713. The median sale price was $652K. Last month's supply and demand were similar to that of a seller's housing market. The market had a total sales to total listings ratio above 0.2 which tends to favor sellers.
Homes in Suffolk County, MA sold for 1.29% below the asking price on average last month. Ideally, a buyer would prefer a sale-to-list price ratio that’s closer to 90% whereas a seller would always prefer scenarios that can yield a ratio of 100% or higher.
- There are 22 cities in Suffolk County.
- South Boston has a median listing price of $899K, making it the most expensive city.
- Chelsea is the most affordable city, with a median listing price of $485K.
- The city of Boston has a median listing price of $799K, trending up 6.7% year-over-year.
- The median sale price in Boston is $710K.
- Homes in Boston, MA sold for 1.58% below asking prices on average last month.
- There are 64 neighborhoods in Boston.
- Downtown Boston has a median listing price of $2M, making it the most expensive neighborhood.
- Commonwealth is the most affordable neighborhood, with a median listing price of $489K.
Boston Housing Market Trends And Stats
There’s been some softening in the market for large, high-end single-family homes and properties in the urban core with small living areas and no outdoor space. This is a common trend across the nation. People are looking for more space and accelerating long-planned moves to the suburbs. Here's a rundown of the Boston Housing Market Report released by the “Greater Boston Association of REALTORS® (GBAR).” The data includes all 64 towns within the GBAR jurisdictional area.
GREATER BOSTON HOUSING MARKET STATISTICS FOR October 2022
Boston Single-Family Homes Trends
- The 886 homes sold in October 2021 was the fourteenth-highest sales total on record for the month.
- It was the lowest total since 2011 and was a 16.2 percent decrease in sales volume from the October 2021 sales total of 1,058 homes sold.
- The median sales price rose to a new record-high price for the month of October at $747,000.
- It is a 6.7 percent increase from the October 2021 median sales price of $700,000.
- Days to Off Market were 21, up 10.5% year-over-year.
- Sold to Original Price Ratio was 99.5%%, down 2.5% year-over-year.
- Months Supply of Inventory of single-family homes was 2.0, up 42.9% year-over-year.
- Months Supply of Inventory (MSI) is a calculation that quantifies the relationship between supply and demand in a housing market.
- Historically, six months of supply is associated with moderate price appreciation, and a lower level of months' supply tends to push prices up more rapidly.
Boston Condominiums Housing Trends
- Meanwhile, in the more affordable condo market 747 condos were sold.
- It was a 22.9 percent decrease from last year when 963 condos were sold.
- However, it is the fourteenth highest sales total on record of the month and the least sales since 2011.
- The median sales price for condos also reached a new record high for the month of October at $615,000.
- It was a modest 0.8 percent increase from the October 2021 median sales price of $615,000.
- Months Supply of Inventory of condominiums was 2.8, an increase of 16.7% from last year.
Boston City Housing Market Statistics
- The city of Boston is also seeing that buyers are pulling back due to high mortgage rates.
- Closed sales of single-family homes dropped by -16.5% YTY and -18.5%% on a month-to-month basis.
- Pending Sales increased by almost 25% YTY.
- Active Listings increased by 4.6% YTY while New Listings decreased by 12.7% YTY.
- As a result, the Months Supply of Inventory increased by 3.1% YTY to 3.1 months in October 2022.
- The median price of a single-family home was $737,000.
- It increased by 5.3% YTY and was down 10.7% on a month-to-month basis.
Boston Rental Market Trends
The Zumper Boston Metro Area Report analyzed active listings last month across the metro cities to show the most and least expensive cities and cities with the fastest growing rents. The Massachusetts one bedroom median rent was $2,249 last month. Cambridge ranked as the most expensive city in the metro with one bedrooms priced at $3,200 while Brockton was the most affordable city with one bedrooms priced at $1,250.
The Fastest Growing Cities For Rents in Boston Metro Area (Y/Y%)
- Medford had the fastest growing rent, up 45.1% since this time last year.
- Newton saw rent climb 31.5%, making it second.
- Haverhill was third with rent increasing 27.9%.
The Fastest Growing Cities For Rents in Boston Metro Area (M/M%)
- Newton rent had the largest monthly growth rate, up 6%.
- Medford, Haverhill & Boston saw rents increase 5.9% last month, making them all tied for second.
- Brookline had the next largest rent price growth rate, climbing 3.8%.
Boston Real Estate Market Forecast 2022 and 2023
What are the Boston real estate market predictions for 2022 and 2023? With steady job growth, huge gains in home equity, and a large population of millennials now in their peak homebuying years, it is predicted that the demand will stay strong, but sales are likely to be down from historic highs while price appreciation should fall to more modest levels.
Let us look at the price trends recorded by Zillow (a real estate database company) over the past few years. Since the last October, the typical home value in Boston-Cambridge-Newton Metro has appreciated by nearly 8.4% (Zillow Home Value Index). ZHVI represents the whole housing stock and not just the homes that list or sell in a given month. The typical home value of homes in the Boston metro is currently $647,189.
It indicates that 50 percent of all housing stock in the area is worth more than $647,189 and 50 percent is worth less (adjusting for seasonal fluctuations). Boston metro is a seller’s real estate market which means that there exists a limited supply of homes in Boston, and buyers are forced to compete often resulting in higher prices and/or quicker sales that tend to benefit sellers.
There are fewer homes for sale than there are active buyers in the marketplace. This, however, is computed monthly. Similar growth has been recorded by NeighborhoodScout.com. Their data also shows that Boston real estate appreciated 109.94% over the last ten years. Its annual appreciation rate has been averaging 7.70% — more than the national average. This figure puts Boston in the top 20% nationally for real estate appreciation.
- During the last twelve months, from 2021 Q2 – 2022 Q2, the Boston appreciation rate was nearly 9.03%.
- From 2022 Q1 – 2022 Q2, the appreciation rate was nearly 1.62%.
- The quarterly rate equates to an annual appreciation rate of 6.66%.
- However, the higher mortgage rates go from here, the more bearish the outlook for Boston home price growth in 2023.
In a balanced real estate market, it would take about five to six months for the supply to dwindle to zero. In terms of months of supply, Boston can become a buyer’s real estate market if the supply increases to more than five months of inventory. And that’s not going to happen. The total inventory of single-family homes is still low (2.0 months) in October 2022 (GBAR).
While inventory remains scarce, listing times normally increase throughout the holidays and winter season and may be prolonged further if the number of available homes increases. This is already happening in the single-family home market, where active listings increased for the sixth month in a row on an annual basis in October.
Here is the summary of Zillow's housing data and forecast for the Boston Metro Area
- Typical Home Values: $647,189 (as of Oct 2022)
- 1-year Value Change: +8.4%
- Zillow predicts that home values will decline by 1.1% between October 2022 to October 2023
- Median days to pending = 10
- Median sale-to-list ratio = 1.016
- 61.6% Percent of sales over the list price
- 28.9% Percent of sales under list price
Boston Real Estate Investment: Should You Invest in Boston?
Successfully investing in real estate — whether you are in Boston or anywhere else in the world — is all about correctly timing the market. Knowing when to enter the real estate market can often be a bit of a challenge. Should you invest in Boston real estate? Is Boston a Good Place For Real Estate Investment? Many real estate investors have asked themselves if buying a property in Boston is a good investment. You need to drill deeper into local trends if you want to know what the market holds for real estate investors and buyers in 2023.
Boston is a fairly walkable city in Suffolk County with a population of approximately 700,000 people, making the Boston housing market rather large on its own. It is a thriving city, which makes it the best location to buy an investment property at any point in time including the present. Since it contains around 80% of all residents of Massachusetts, it is certainly the first place that people choose to research, when they want to invest in the state.
The broader Boston Metropolitan Area or Greater Boston is home to more than four million people. Boston real estate has been one of the best long-term real estate investments in the nation. The Boston real estate market is dominated by rental properties and Airbnb is a great pick for starters. The city is a wonderful place to call home. People want to live in the city, yet the number of new homes being built is relatively low.
Boston's real estate market is vibrant, and plenty of buyers are offering more than the asking price when they love a property. Throughout the Greater area of Boston, numerous investment properties are waiting to be revitalized by a wise investor. But for most people, Boston is a high-priced real estate market, though it isn’t as expensive as Washington DC, San Francisco, or New York City.
Greater Boston is still an expensive place to buy a house, but the years of relentless price increases may be nearing an end. It’s too soon to know if this trend is a blip or if the Boston housing market heading toward some stability. However, new investors should always consider cheaper markets for investment. Because of the large number of students, and college and university faculty, it is a no-brainer for savvy investors to invest in a rental property in Boston.
Rental property in Boston is guaranteed to get a lot of demand from tenants – whether an apartment or a condo or a single-family home. Any investment property is likely to get rented out fast. Airbnb rentals are one of the best options for real estate investment in Boston. Let’s find out more about it.
Boston has been one of the hottest real estate markets in the country for many years. It is not just an expensive real estate market on the East Coast. It is one of the few in the region not expected to see significant declines. And there are areas we can expect to see significant appreciation due to the sheer demand for affordable housing with easy access to major arteries or public transit.
Boston is an old, East Coast city. We’ve already mentioned the height law and the challenges faced by getting anything approved even with the mayor behind it. Unfortunately, Boston’s entrenched bureaucracy limits the redevelopment of large garages and other major projects that could bring thousands of units to the Boston real estate market.
If it takes ten years (or more) for the Boston Harbor Garage to be redeveloped, and it is far from the only project on hold, then you can be certain to see high returns on any redevelopment project that creates more housing units within existing buildings. Whether this is converting warehouses into lofts or single-family homes into multi-family housing, if you don’t face major roadblocks, you’ll see a great return on the investment.
If you are looking to make a profit, you don’t want to buy the most expensive property on the Boston real estate market and expect to make a good profit on rents. Perhaps you are looking for a slightly different hold-over, an investment property in Boston that you might move into or sell at retirement in the future. Either way, knowing your profit potential and purpose is the first thing to consider.
Investing in Boston real estate will fetch you good returns in the long term as the home prices in Boston have been trending up year-over-year. Let’s take a look at the number of positive things going on in the Boston real estate market which can help investors who are keen to buy an investment property in this city.
Boston is Attractive to Millennials
Millennials are a market real estate agents want to cater to since they’re buying homes in mass. And Boston is considered one of the cities Millennials love. The challenge for Millennials is affording a market where the median home costs around $740,000. Yet the demand from young and old alike means there’s very little inventory, much less housing stock considered affordable.
Boston isn’t just attracting young people from across the country – it is also attracting immigration from around the world. The city has seen population growth every year since 2004 in part because of the influx of immigrants attracted to healthcare, biotech, and educational jobs here.
Millennials and older adults alike are choosing to spend more on an apartment, condo, or house to avoid spending hours each week commuting. It is seen as an investment in their quality of life. This explains why downtown Boston is seeing price increases far higher than the rest of the Boston metro area.
Downtown enclaves sell for much more per square foot than properties at the edge of town or in the suburbs; the price hit a thousand dollars a square foot recently. That’s expensive for the U.S. but half the price you’d pay for a comparable apartment in New York City. Ironically, the high price of real estate in NYC explains why many financial firms are expanding in the relatively cheaper city of Boston, home of the mutual fund.
Boston's Job Market Will Keep People Coming
Boston was ranked the best city in the U.S. for startups. A large number of world-class universities provide a large number of skilled workers, many of whom work in medicine, finance, and biotech. The constant creation of new jobs will continue to attract residents and help the city retain the ones it already has. The economy is dominated by services, which usually pay high wages and attract more and more job seekers. All these factors have created a hot housing market in Boston, dictated by both home buyers and tenants.
Guaranteed Real Estate Appreciation
Strong demand plus limited inventory and limited space to grow will guarantee appreciation of any property you buy in the Boston real estate market. Prices are going to appreciate in 2021 by 6-8%. This is only a continuation of the steady property increases seen since the 2008 property crash. This is partly because the market is so built-up already that land prices are high.
Then there’s the fact it can take a long time to get approval to build up. Boston’s mayor is facing flak for wanting to waive the building height rule just once. Ironically, the Boston shadow law that limits the height of buildings in the Boston housing market has the greatest impact on the downtown areas where people most want to see the tall apartment and condo towers built.
The increase in mortgage interest rates is putting pressure on home buyers, limiting what they can afford. This in turn is leading home builders to cut prices on new properties. According to the Washington Post, Boston home builders are cutting the price of properties on the market by 6%. If you have financing or the cash to invest in the Boston real estate market, you can’t pass up a deal like this.
Boston's Rental Market
The Boston real estate market and its environs include a whopping hundred universities, colleges, and trade schools. There are more than 150,000 college students in Boston and Cambridge alone. You could buy properties across the Boston real estate market and cater to students, and your market is so diverse that you’ll always see demand. Boston is landlord-friendly compared to markets like NYC. There is no limit on late fees.
You don’t have to provide notice before entering the apartment. The state doesn’t require rental licenses to become a landlord. There aren’t laws regarding re-keying or pets. A written rental agreement is only mandatory if your tenant is staying for more than 12 months. Evictions are allowed if they are not paying the rent, violating the lease, or breaking the law. You can start evictions two weeks after the non-payment of rent. Since evictions can take weeks, screen tenants well for any property in the Boston housing market.
Rents in the inner Boston Core hit 2800 a month. All those grad students, young single professionals, and highly paid power couples are bidding up the limited housing stock available. If you can find a reasonably affordable property in the Boston real estate market and convert it into multiple units or a more upscale clientele, you’ll enjoy significant cash flow from the property. Any future real estate investor in Boston should also have in mind that the expected rental income for both traditional rentals and Airbnb rentals is high.
The combined effect of high property prices and high rental income leads to a decent return on investment for Boston rental properties. The taxes here are high compared to the U.S. average but lower than in several other states in the area. The income tax rate is much lower than in New York, and property taxes are far lower than in New Jersey. Therefore, you’ll clear more here than in some of the other large Northeast markets.
Luckily for real estate investors in Boston who are interested in Airbnb rentals, they are fully legal in the Boston real estate market and are not even taxed at the moment. Recent discussions among Massachusetts lawmakers failed to result in an agreement on taxes to be charged on short-term rentals.
Latest Rental Market Statistics: According to RENTCafe, 51% of the households in Boston are renter-occupied, which is a significant population. More than 95% of the apartments fall in the range of $2,000 or more, which shows how high are the rents in Boston. As a rental property investor, it should be on your list of due diligence. Do the math and find out the best neighborhood & property that suits your investment goals.
The average size for a Boston, MA apartment is 812 square feet with studio apartments being the smallest and most affordable. 1-bedroom apartments are closer to the average, while 2-bedroom apartments and 3-bedroom apartments offer more generous square footage.
As of November 27, 2022, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Boston, MA is currently $2,985. This is a 15% increase compared to the previous year. Over the past month, the average rent for a studio apartment in Boston decreased by -2% to $2,517. The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment decreased by -2% to $2,985, and the average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment remained flat.
- Two-bedroom apartment rents average $3,495 (a 17% increase from last year).
- Three-bedroom apartment rents average $3,680 (a 23% increase from last year).
- Four-bedroom apartment rents average $4,500 (a 22% increase from last year).
Boston Investment Properties: Where To Buy?
In any real estate investment, cash flow is gold. Boston is the top market where real estate investments are safe and have high rates of return. The Boston housing market sees steady population growth, faces limited supply, and can’t go vertical.
This means that those who invest in the Boston real estate market will see decent cash flow from nearly any property and guaranteed appreciation. Allston is an excellent neighborhood to buy an investment property in Boston as the median property price is well below the city level. Airbnb rentals are the best option for real estate investing in Boston.
Good cash flow from Boston investment properties means the investment is, needless to say, profitable. A bad cash flow, on the other hand, means you won’t have money on hand to repay your debt. Therefore, finding the best investment property in Boston in a growing neighborhood would be key to your success.
As with any real estate purchase, act wisely. Evaluate the specifics of the Boston housing market at the time you intend to purchase. When looking for the best real estate investments in Boston, you should focus on neighborhoods with relatively high population density and employment growth. Both of them translate into high demand for housing.
There are 65 neighborhoods in Boston. As we write this, Downtown Boston has a median listing price of $2.3M, making it the most expensive neighborhood. Commonwealth is the most affordable neighborhood, with a median listing price of $522,000. Some of the popular neighborhoods in Boston are Cambridge, Medford, East Boston, West Roxbury, Allston, Dedham, South End, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, South Boston, Charlestown, Braintree, North End, and Hyde Park.
The best neighborhoods in the Greater Boston area for real estate investment are relatively affordable. They will offer a good rate of appreciation because of the influx of people moving there for affordable housing. They'll offer strong and rising rents in 2022 and beyond.
Roxbury has seen roughly 125 percent inflation over the past five years, a full 25 percent more price inflation than Boston as a whole. This is because Roxbury remains a relatively affordable area attracting people who are being priced out of rapidly gentrifying Boston. Affordable housing isn't the only reason why we can expect people to move here. For example, the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology is considering moving to an available site here.
Northeastern University is considering building student housing here, as well. When Blue Hill Avenue is upgraded, the area will have better bus service connecting it to the rest of Boston. Furthermore, Roxbury is slated for rapid development. For example, there are several opportunity zones here.
The biggest ones are near Ruggles and Roxbury Crossing. Note that the same trends are driving up rents and property values in Jamaica Plain and Dorchester, though we predict the greatest gains near the Nubian Square developments.
East Boston was once a cheap neighborhood because it was so close to the airport and factories. East Boston is in the middle of a building boom, as the old industrial waterfront gains office buildings and codon towers. Yet it has room for massive expansion thanks to the potential at Suffolk Downs.
This will create an explosion of new development, though demand for these properties will be weak for the next few months. This influx of new development is why the area has seen only a 105 percent appreciation over the past 5 years. These properties would be right off the Blue Line. Expect property values to skyrocket once there is regular public transit in the area.
East Boston is in sharp contrast to the slowly gentrifying South End, as young white professionals move into the area, driving up rents and property prices until they move somewhere else.
But it is attracting people who snap up 800-square-foot condos that may yet cost less than half a million dollars. Others snap up the new luxury apartments at Jeffries Point, because of its views of downtown Boston. Note that the area is connected to mainland Boston through the Sumner Tunnel.
Fort Point is a Seaport neighborhood. However, it is in the process of becoming a life sciences hub. Construction could turn the mostly vacated General Electric headquarters building into a life sciences campus. GE has moved its headquarters into one of the remaining buildings.
A former Proctor and Gamble Building is going to become another life sciences building. Expect rents in the area to rise along with the increasing average income in the area. Furthermore, the area is going to gentrify as new mixed-use projects that were recently approved are built. They won't just be on the waterfront anymore. They'll have several new parks, as well.
Here are the ten neighborhoods in Boston having the highest real estate appreciation rates since 2000—List by Neigborhoodscout.com.
- Roxbury Northeast
- Washington Park
- Central Square
- Central Maverick Square Paris Street
- East Boston
- Harbor View Orient Heights East
- Jeffries Point
- Roxbury Northwest
- Harbor View Orient Heights West
- Roxbury East
Buying or selling real estate, for a majority of investors, is one of the most important decisions they will make. Choosing a real estate professional/counselor continues to be a vital part of this process. They are well-informed about critical factors that affect your specific market areas, such as changes in market conditions, market forecasts, consumer attitudes, best locations, timing, and interest rates.
NORADA REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS has extensive experience investing in turnkey real estate and cash-flow properties. We strive to set the standard for our industry and inspire others by raising the bar on providing exceptional real estate investment opportunities in many other growth markets in the United States. We can help you succeed by minimizing risk and maximizing the profitability of your investment property in Boston.
Consult with one of the investment counselors who can help build you a custom portfolio of Boston investment properties. Depending upon the availability, we can help you to find “Cash-Flow Rental Properties” located in some of the best neighborhoods of Boston.
Not just limited to Boston or Massachusetts but you can also invest in some of the hottest real estate markets for rental properties in the United States. Apart from the Boston real estate market, you can also invest in Jersey, City. The Jersey City housing market is seeing significant growth because it is close to New York City but isn’t NYC. It has several points in its favor, too, like a good job market and local amenities.
Renters and buyers alike are taking notice and helping to make Jersey City the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the state. Jersey City has been busy redeveloping old neighborhoods, encouraging a mix of new retail, luxury housing, and affordable housing. Jersey City is notable for the major redevelopment on the waterfront, known as the Shore, while properties there enjoy a great view of Manhattan.
Jersey City takes things one step further and is setting up a “Friendly Building Program”, where developers build entire buildings were renting through AirBnB is allowed. This is an innovative development in the Jersey City housing market. All you have to do is fill up this form and schedule a consultation at your convenience. We’re standing by to help you take the guesswork out of real estate investing. By researching and structuring complete Boston turnkey real estate investments, we help you succeed by minimizing risk and maximizing profitability.
Let us know which real estate markets in the United States you consider best for real estate investing!
This article shouldn't be used to make real estate or financial decisions. Some of this article's information came from referenced websites. Norada Real Estate Investments provides no express or implied claims, warranties, or guarantees that the material is accurate, reliable, or current. All information should be validated using the below references. Norada Real Estate Investments does not predict the future US housing market. This article educated Boston real estate investors. Buying a rental property needs research, planning, and budgeting. Not all investments are good. Always do research and consult a real estate investment counselor.
Market Data, Reports & Forecasts
Landlord friendly & Rental Statistics
Reasons to Invest
The Best Neighborhoods for Boston Real Estate Investment